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Top 5 animal encounters at Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa is known for its amazing thrill rides, including the Falcon’s Fury drop tower that delivers a one-of-a-kind ride experience. But the park is more than thrills and rides – when it first started, the only attraction (other than a brewery) was the Bird Gardens, and even now, with the growth in the […]

Disney’s best dining? Not in the parks

“So, where’s the best place to eat while I’m at Disney?” It’s a favorite question on forums across the internet, partially because the dining options at Disney are diverse and, sometimes, daunting to vacationers. With all the choices Disney offers, the answers to the question are never quite the same, but some familiar favorites rise […]

Riding Busch Garden’s Falcon’s Fury for the first time

After months of delays at Busch Gardens Tampa, Falcon’s Fury was opened to the public at noon on Tuesday, September 2. Three days later, it went down again for “routine maintenance” (that’s the official story, but several employees say it was struck by lightning) and stayed down for four days. To say this ride has […]

6 Things You Need to Know about The Orlando Eye

Orlando is chock full of big amusements; towering icons, colossal entertainment, and ginormous thrills are just a few of the reasons tourists and locals alike love “The City Beautiful.” Lately, however, Orlando is beginning to look more like “The City Growing,” as International Drive is gaining steam as the newest amusement hub – and, arguably, […]

What’s New at Busch Gardens Tampa (February 2015)

My husband and I ended up with the same weekday off of work, so we used this rare opportunity to visit Busch Gardens Tampa without the teenagers. What a difference visiting the park on a weekday makes – crowds were nonexistent, even with the beautiful weather! As we entered the park, we stopped to pay […]

Pantopia at Busch Gardens Tampa: Tour the park’s newest land and learn its secrets

By now, almost everyone has heard of the new ride “opening soon” at Busch Gardens Tampa, Falcon’s Fury. This 335-foot-tall drop tower, with a 90-degree pivot so you’re facing the ground on the way down, has everyone talking. But did you know that Busch Gardens has redone the entire area surrounding the new ride with […]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – July 2014 (Summer Nights extravaganza, Rhino Rally reopens, Falcon’s Fury more beautiful than ever)

I’d heard so many great things about Summer Nights at Busch Gardens from last year that, this year, I jumped at the chance to go. Since Summer Nights entertainment doesn’t start until late in the night, we decided to take our time, and we arrived at Busch Gardens in the early afternoon (amazing how short […]

SeaWorld Orlando Summer Nights 2014: New shows and experiences keep the energy up after dark

With the arrival of summer comes the exciting addition of SeaWorld Orlando’s new summertime shows as part of Summer Nights 2014, running June 21 through August 10. Orlando Informer was invited to a special sneak preview last Friday, and Dan asked me to check it out for us.   Generation Nature LIVE The first show […]

Duplo Valley: Making LEGOLAND Florida the very first theme park for the entire family

With so many theme parks to choose from in Central Florida, how do you choose which one to take your family to? Well, if you’ve got older kids, you’ll probably choose a park with more thrills. With younger children, you’d probably choose a park with magical princesses and characters they know. But what if you […]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – May 2014 (a new way to experience Antarctica, Shamu Stadium reopens, and more 50th anniversary celebrations)

This Mother’s Day, my family decided to spend time together at SeaWorld. It was hot and humid, but the crowds didn’t seem that bad at all as we wandered through the park. Our first stop was Antarctica. We visit this exhibit almost every time we come to the park, as the penguins are just so […]

Ihu’s Breakaway Falls at Aquatica: So exhilarating, it’s a rollercoaster with water

Ihu’s Breakaway Falls officially opens at Aquatica today, May 9. This is the tallest, steepest, and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in Orlando. It’s a whopping eight stories tall and sends you flying down at 20 to 24 feet per second. And if that’s not enough, you actually face your fellow riders – […]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – April 2014 (Falcon’s Fury test runs, Pantopia progress, “Iceploration” & the new Refresh Market)

When we asked my daughter whether she wanted a party for her birthday or to bring a friend with her to Busch Gardens, she only hesitated a moment before deciding to take a trip to the park. So Sunday was our day to honor that request, and we took her friend along for her first-ever […]

Delving into the Sea of Surprises: Celebrating SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary with unexpected fun & style

The lighthouse has been repainted and the Sky Tower has been redecorated for SeaWorld’s Sea of Surprises celebration of its 50th birthday. Terry Prather, president of SeaWorld Orlando Parks, kicked off the festivities last Friday, March 21 with promises of all-new experiences and surprises in store for everyone – for 18 months, SeaWorld will be celebrating […]

SeaWorld trip report – March 2014 (Sea of Surprises construction, Pets Ahoy, restaurant reviews, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls & Just for Kids Festival)

As we arrived at SeaWorld this past weekend, we could tell they had done a lot of renovations for the 50th anniversary celebration that starts Friday, March 21 (we’ll have a separate report on the opening next week!). The statue welcoming guests into the parking area has a new banner around the bottom, and once […]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – February 2014 (Bands, Brew & BBQ, Larry the Cable Guy, Shamu Up Close)

When SeaWorld announced that Larry the Cable Guy would be the headline event at Bands, Brew & BBQ this past Sunday, we knew we had to go see him. So we all piled into the car with shouts of “get ‘er done” and drove down for a day in the park. We got there early […]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – February 2014 (Bands, Brew & BBQ, Falcon’s Fury construction & Rhino Rally reopening)

This past weekend was the start of Bands, Brew & BBQ at Busch Gardens. With the chance to drink unlimited beer, I grabbed my husband and the family, and off we went to enjoy a day at the park. We arrived five minutes after the park opened and found very little crowds. We all decided […]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – January 2014 (dolphin encounters, Wild Days Sea Rescue & Shamu Up Close)

Even with temperatures below what any Floridian would call comfortable, we couldn’t miss the Wild Days Sea Rescue at SeaWorld last weekend. As we arrived, all bundled from head to toe, we noticed the crowds were much heavier than we had expected in this weather (we had forgotten it was a holiday weekend!), but found […]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – January 2014 (hungry birds at Lory Landing, Falcon’s Fury construction, first ride on SheiKra)

January is Pass Holder appreciation month at Busch Gardens – each annual pass can get a guest in for free this month! That news sent us scurrying to pick up the grandparents for a full day of fun at the park. Last time we were at Busch Gardens, an Animal Care employee in Lory Landing […]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – December 2013 (penguin & dolphin encounters, Christmas shows, Groupon deal) [UPDATED]

Arriving out SeaWorld last Sunday for my monthly trip report, I saw that the morning rain and resulting chill must have chased off the majority of the park-goers, as the crowds were very minimal throughout the park. Their loss was our gain! [wptouch target=”non-mobile”]Remember, you can click any image to view it full-screen. And don’t […]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – December 2013 (Christmas Town special event, Falcon’s Fury update)

Amidst all the shopping and preparing for Christmas, I chose to add a new tradition to the mix this year: Busch Gardens Christmas Town.  Since it’s a separately ticketed, after-regular-park-hours event, before spending the money to take the whole family I went by myself to see if the event was all it was hyped up to […]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – November 2013 (the holidays are here as SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration begins)

Last Saturday, after a day of running errands, finding Thanksgiving recipes, and last minute grocery shopping, we couldn’t wait to get down to SeaWorld for the opening night of their Christmas Celebration and have some much needed fun. We arrived at the park, sailed through the ticket gate, and hurried our way to the first […]

Busch Garden Tampa trip report – November 2013 (hands-on at the Animal Care Center, Falcon’s Fury construction & more)

Editor’s note: I want to let our readers know that, with the addition of Salina as a contributor to our blog, Orlando Informer is now committed to producing monthly trip reports for Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld Orlando, and Busch Gardens Tampa, as well as one Walt Disney World theme park (each month […]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – October 2013 (our first in a new series)

Last Saturday my family and I set off to see the Spooktacular happenings at SeaWorld Orlando. Little did we know everyone else apparently had the same idea — wow, was it crowded. Well, not as crowded as summertime or the week after Christmas, but definitely more crowded than we expected to find it in October. […]